MOVIE NEWS – Is Breaking Bad based on actual events? Do fiction and reality meet in the popular AMC series?
If the release of the sixth season of the prequel series Better Call Saul has piqued our interest enough, here is the answer to whether Breaking Bad is based on a true story. After the launch of Breaking Bad, many theories have been put forward as to whether the story of the series or the characters are based on real people and events. Now that the series is over 14 years old, we have a surprising answer.
Breaking Bad is a deep, complex story about a man who makes the best of a bad situation while dipping into a moral grey area. Walter White was a victim of circumstance and was just trying to make a better life for his family after a terminal cancer diagnosis. But to achieve this, he got into the drug trade and succeeded, becoming a boss. Millions of viewers were captivated by the TV series.
Who is the real Walter White?
The series portrays Walter White (Bryan Cranston) as a brilliant chemist, a graduate of the California Institute of Technology and a former researcher at Los Alamos National Laboratory. After helping the lab win the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, he founded Gray Matter Technologies. He later left his company and witnessed the marriage of his ex-girlfriend and former boyfriend. By the time he appears in the first episode of the series, Walter is a disillusioned 50-year-old high school teacher and part-time car washer living in a world where he can’t find his place.
Walter is diagnosed with stage III lung cancer and told he would die within two years. Then, feeling he cannot leave his family in debt and financial uncertainty, he enters the lucrative world of drug dealing and becomes New Mexico’s most prominent crystal meth dealer. Throughout five seasons, we see Walter’s deepening involvement with the local drug trade as he becomes more and more of a criminal in spirit. In the final episode, on his 52nd birthday, he dies in an incredibly well-equipped methamphetamine lab when the police arrive.
Incredible as it may seem, a similar case happened in real life: a former construction worker who gave up his career to make a name for himself in, you guessed it, the highly lucrative drug trade. He was known as the meth kingpin, and for about ten years, he was reputed to have cooked up the best drug in all of Alabama. The man went on trial in 2014, at the age of 53, on four counts of drug abuse and one misdemeanour. Surprisingly, he pleaded guilty only to possession, and the jury dropped all other charges. His sentence was ultimately a $2,000 fine with 32 months probation.
If the sentence in the previous story seems short, we can take another Walter White, who was also a meth dealer. His sentence was much more severe, 12 years. According to CBS News, Walter operated in Montana, produced an estimated 16 kilograms of methamphetamine, and was eventually shot by his son Brandon.
It would seem that the story of the real-life methamphetamine dealer Walter White and the series are a mere coincidence. None of them got into the business because of a terminal illness; although chemists and teachers were among them, they were not called Walter White. Can we say that this incredible series is simply the product of a wild idea and a confluence of coincidences? It seems so.
In reality, Breaking Bad was not inspired by the real-life stories of drug dealers. Originally, series creator Vince Gillian first conceived the idea after working on the X-Files. He wanted to make a series where the protagonist would gradually go bad. He didn’t like the practice of television where the characters didn’t change to extend the running time. He once joked with Thomas Schnauz about selling methamphetamine from a caravan while unemployed. The ideas eventually came together, and Gillian pitched his idea to several other networks. FX, then AMC, jumped at the chance, and Breaking Bad became an award-winning series in five unforgettable seasons.
Source: Movie Web